AIBU to ask if you have/intend to emigrate from the UK?(109 Posts)
Just that really!
We move to Egypt in August and we are buzzing with nervous anticipation! Most important stuff is sorted for us now so just patiently waiting to get on the flight out.
Would love to hear from others who have done it. Where did you (or will you have) moved to?
How have you found it so far?
I moved to the UK years ago. Beat thing I’ve ever done.
We move to Egypt in August
Interesting choice, do mean emigrate or relocate with work? Do you have any links with Egypt? Speak the language? Will you take on Egyptian nationality and give up a British passport?
Not in a million years.
Very happy to stay in my country, and whilst I love travelling, I will never leave it. Ever.
I know a few people who have moved abroad, and are perfectly happy, but I know more people who moved and ended up very unhappy. Some came back to the UK, some are stuck in the country they moved to, unable to return, for many various reasons.
We left the UK 7 years ago. I can’t even remember being nervous about leaving. I just remember the excitement and thinking that the day of our flight couldn’t come quick enough.
We love it here. The dc don’t remember the UK at all and this is their home. I don’t see us ever going back. We’re going to Oz for a couple of years soon with dh’s company but we’ll definitely be coming back to NZ after.
Good luck with your move.
I would absolutely love to.
However it would negatively impact DD's relationship with her dad and step-mum so it will remain nothing more than a dream for me.
Moved to Spain. Could never ever move back to England now - it just isn't compatible with my lifestyle or general outlook on life. Reading miserable comments on Mumsnet reminds me of that every day!
I have a great quality of life. My husband is Spanish though and I was already close with his family and friends here, so was an easier move than it would be for the average brit with no existing ties. Also lucky to be able to work here and earn a good salary in my chosen career. Without that support system and being able to have a career, not sure I would have made the move.
Egypt is an interesting move - not heard of that before? What are the reasons for choosing Egypt?
We moved to Kuwait five years ago this August. We love it here but it's not perfect. There is a huge difference with regards to how people of different nationalities are paid and the paperwork for simple things is ridiculous. However I've found the majority of local Kuwaitis to be lovely , kind and generous people as are the people from all over the world that live here. I've made friends (and so have my kids) with people from so many different nationalities and cultures. The weather is lovely on the whole but the summer is dreadful as it hits mid 50s! We've got a fabulous lifestyle and it's the best thing we've done.
Been in Belgium for 13 years for dh's jobs. Will be moving back to UK in October and am really looking forward to it.
Moved to Australia a few years ago. We love it, don't think we'd ever move back to the UK.
I've lived in several different countries and a lot of what you get out of it depends on how and where you live .... I know people who as expats have lived in 'compounds' with other foreign residents, did not learn the language, nor mix with local people. That's a shame I think, and unless you make some effort to mix, learn the language, get out and experience 'normal' life,then you will not have the full experience of that country and culture. Just my opinion! It's a great experience anyway to live in another country.
Moved from London to rural Sweden (DH Swedis) four years ago and I am desperately unhappy. I would give my right arm to move back to London and have open neighbours, friends and access to good schools.
Good luck OP.
Moved to the US years and years ago. Love it. But had a mindset that going back to the uk wasnt an option for me, which made me suck up the early annoyances and challenges and figure things out. Other friends who had the mindset of “Ill just try my best and see” didnt adjust as well.
We've been in France for 3 years. Love it! Kids are bilingual and attend a private school for hardly any cost when compared to the UK. We set up a successful business and just bought a house. We'd have never have been able to do it in the UK.
I did - 28 years ago and love it (though it does rain a lot, upside are beautiful gardens year round)
A few family type things to get sorted then I'll be gone.
Yes. Dependent on my husband’s job (military) we’ll be leaving in 2020 or 2021, and will eventually end up in the US.
10 years in Hong Kong, and both kids born over here. I think we always assumed we'd move back to the UK eventually, but that seems increasingly unlikely, and, to be honest, not hugely appealing any more.
Moved to Norway 12 years ago. I'm very happy here, I love it! The only negative at the moment is the anxiety Brexit is causing over status..
Moved to the UK 20 years ago, first few years can be a struggle and I laughed at people who said you have major wobbles at 2,3,5,7 and 10 years, but I did, almost to the date.
I miss the climate where I grew up (tropics) but a wouldn't move back, as I've made my life here and I love it.
As PP said it's all about your mindset, if you have going "home" always as an option in the back of your mind, you'll never fully adjust to your new life.
Egypt just happened to be the first international job I was offered!
That sounds flippant but it's true. We have been at rock bottom really and a series of events just seemed to reach a point where we decided to fulfill our ambitions of travelling.
We have no family or links to anywhere outside the UK. We're very much our own little unit; extended family (whilst very lovely and have good relationships) have never lived close to us to really have much to do with us. We're very self sufficient in that sense.
I was looking for somewhere with good relocation and salary package, low cost of living and scope for us to experience a totally new and different culture.
OH and I have started to learn Arabic and the kids have joined in though they will have lessons once they start school so I'm sure they will soon surpass our efforts!
Moved to France 20 years ago. Always thought I might return to the UK someday. That's become increasingly unlikely tbh especially as neither of our teens is interested in studying in the UK.
We left 24 years ago and have lived in Germany, Austria and have now been in China for over 10 years. We are going back to the UK next year. The time overseas has been both exhilarating and frustrating - sometimes it really is same shit, different bucket.
I am moving to Singapore for a job for 2-3 years. I love the UK though and I love my friends and family. It is a money making mission (and an adventure for my family) with a definite end point and there is a particular goal for the money we are set to earn.
I hope Brexit stuff will be a bit more stable by the time we get back though.
Yes have lived and worked abroad. USA, Australia, NZ. Considering leaving again if Brexit goes ahead. Many of my friends are already leaving because of Brexit. DH and I are both professionals as are my friends. If we leave the European Union there will be a brain drain of professional and educated workers from the UK.
Have lived in France for 15 years. Husband French, children born here. Visit UK twice a year which is nice, but no intention of moving back.
I moved to the UK to study, and, as well as my home country, have also lived in France, the US and the ME -- we're planning to move on again, soon, not entirely sure where.
Would consider moving to another developed country if it was necessary but wouldn’t move to a developing nation. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth comes to mind.
Are some pps confusing emigrating with simply living/working abroad for a while?
We lived abroad (mostly the Gulf) for 13 years, but it wasn't emigration - it was on an expat basis for work. We couldn't have taken those countries' nationalities even if we'd wanted to. Which we didn't, much as we enjoyed our years there.
Left the UK 11 years ago. When brexit was announced we took nationality. We live in Europe and life is good.
Had to do a short visit back to the UK last month, first time for a couple of years. It surprised me how grubby it was, just not taken care of, terrible roads.
Moved to Switzerland in 2005. Had our family here. We love it, amazing quality of life that we could not get in the UK. Our parents always tell us not to go back either for this reason.
Have zero plans to go back (annual visits always reconfirm this for both of us).
We left about three years ago; I miss people but I don't miss struggling to get on the property ladder! Our reasons for emigrating were purely economic and in that regard we made the right decision.
I know two women who are planning to move to Egypt later this year. Hopefully wanderingcloud has thought through her move a bit better. The people I know have clearly been suckered by men after a visa. All the cliches, they’re so in love, they’re going to get married etc. After one holiday. They are mother and daughter. Will not listen to anyone trying to talk sense about what is going on...
Always wanted to relocate outside of the UK. Very much wishing I did my TEFL qualifications before I became a mum, as that would have opened up the chance.
Been in Canada 13 yrs. V happy here. Just waiting for our citizenship paperwork to be approved.
As for me, DH and I discuss it regularly. We would love to move out of the UK, but dyslexic DS13 would struggle and DH won’t leave his disabled mum on her own, although with fucking Brexit, she is saying we should go, so maybe he will change his mind.
Are some pps confusing emigrating with simply living/working abroad for a while?
No, taking on another nationality isn't compulsory, or, as you said, even possible, and I don't think that emigration involves the intention to stay in a particular country permanently. But I left my home country in 1993, and haven't lived there since, having spent periods of several years living in various different countries -- where I could have stayed, in open-ended permanent jobs. I just decided to move on, because I like a change.
You'd be better off looking at one of the multiple agencies that are looking for English speakers for company roles.
I'm bringing my man with me Bananas
Also, I apologise for slightly misleading title, we are moving for work on a temporary basis (initially!) rather than emigrating but am interested in folks who have moved and not looked back!
We started our application to move to the States last month. I'm feeling excited but sick. We are looking to move to farmland which is perfect but at the same time I LOVE the English countryside, walking the dog to a pub, Christmas (no one does it like England).. I'm going to miss being here so much but we also only have one life so I'm going to try and see this as a positive.
@RacingTime going abroad isn't possible for me anymore, TEFL or not. I just hope my kids take the chances they have, when they have them, which I didn't.
OP, have you researched this thoroughly. The last woman I know of who emigrated found that she needed a man to do basic things to set up their home e.g arrange to set up the phone and internet etc. as the company in Egypt wouldn't deal directly with her. This was some years ago so things may now be more equal.
Glad to hear it wanderingcloud!
I am so annoyed with the two silly women I know. One is selling a thriving business to do it as well. It’s crazy!
I'd move to a lot of countries but from a safety perspective I'm not sure Egypt would be one of them!
Great post from ginghamstarfish - I always find that those that complain about hating the country they move to are still trying to remain very British/set in their usual ways, which just doesn't work. I changed to lot to fit in here, not against my personality, but just approaching things in a different mindset and pushing myself a bit further. You have to want to be fully integrated, otherwise, there's no chance of it working!
@Thehop Do it! Where are you thinking? I'd aim North! Best decision of my life and so happy I chose to raise children here and not in the UK.
My OH is coming with me and so I will have a man to sort things if needed but also an employer who is going to be providing all accommodation and utilities so I think I will be ok from this regard.
Moved to the US from the UK. Love it, won’t ever go back. Even joined the US Army
Yep, I left UK in 2007 and moved to the Cayman Islands for 2 years initially, as a single 28 year old.
11 years later and I've a husband (Scottish), 2 kids, 2 dogs, home and excellent career.
We have permanent residency and will be applying for naturalisation and status soon.
We've no intention of moving back to the UK, but we will have to roll with the punches as it does depend on schooling. If the kids are better served by boarding at an independent high school in UK, then we may take a secondment back for the formative GCSE years, work allowing.
We've no intention of remaining here into retirement as its one of the most expensive places to live (cost of living index is 13% higher than London and 7% more expensive than NYC), so we'll probably end up retiring to Panama or Ecuador or somewhere in Asia.
I'm heading back to London for Easter to see family and I can't wait. I love visiting, the UK has so much to offer but politics, miserable weather and tax means I'll not move back.
Moved to Canada eight years ago. No regrets. DH earning 5x what he did in the U.K.
Great lifestyle - mountains, lakes etc. Beautiful summers. Winter is bloody cold though.
We want to move to America. Dh is looking at jobs there.
Moved to Portugal almost 16 years ago, it’s not perfect but we have no intentions of moving back and I have applied for citizenship
Moved to the States 7 years ago. There are things I miss about the UK but there's more I'd miss here if I ever went back. Which I wouldn't. The UK is ok to visit but I'd never want to live or raise children there again.
We bought a house in Spain in May of last year with the intention of using it for holidays until we retire in 2022/2023 - at which point we hope to spend 6 months in the UK and 6 months in Spain each year.
More recently, partly because of Brexit/how the country seems to be becoming more polarised, we’ve been thinking of just selling up completely in the UK so that we can retire a few years earlier. The jury’s still out on that one as we love our country, but we’re having real problems with some of the xenophobia that’s started m to raise its head since 2016. And, before anyone castigates us for that, we (i) respect people’s right to vote for Brexit and (ii) accept that the vast majority of our country are not xenophobes. We just don’t like what we seem to have become, irrespective of any political views.
So, to answer your original question, OP, YANBU to ask if we intend to emigrate.
We bought a house in Spain in May of last year with the intention of using it for holidays until we retire in 2022/2023 - at which point we hope to spend 6 months in the UK and 6 months in Spain each year
And are you expecting to be able to that post Brexit?
Have registered for Spanish residency?
We set up a successful business and just bought a house. We'd have never have been able to do it in the UK
I fear so many young people will be in the same boat, or worse the bubble will bust with so many selling up for a better work life balance elsewhere!!
Emigrating to Caribbean, I already spend several months a year there anyway. My parents and sister live there, and my brother is emigrating next year.
I have a house on family land, cost £32,000 to build..that'd maybe buy me a shed in London. I feel relaxed here, no talk about Brexit etc, healthier lifestyle, more of a community feel. + No Council Tax or heating bills. I don't miss England when I'm away from it and DP loves it there too. So final move will be within next 5 years. I have family on other islands also in Canada so looking forward to seeing more of them.
Good luck OP life is what you make it sometimes
Emigrated to Australia 13 yrs ago. Made a good life here. But since the death of my mother in England last year I've been more and more homesick. I flew back 4 times in 18 mths to be with Mum and coming back to Oz after that has been a wrench.
I can never go home as all my children and now GC are in Oz but if I could wave a magic wand I'd be back in blighty. Even with the mad political situation and the weather!!
We've been in Australia for 12 years, got citizenship years ago, we absolutely love it. My three kids have all been back to England where they were born in last two years, they have all come back saying "nice for a holiday but wouldn't want to live there".
We arrived with a "no going back" attitude though which I think makes a huge difference. I know a lot of "ping pong poms" and truly unhappy British women here. I genuinely don't understand how people who are used to seeing their mum/sisters/family every day or so think that they are going to move to the other side of the world and be happy.
Ive lived in a few countries,but we finally emigrated to Oz in 2013. We absolutely love it, and I will be going for my citizenship ceremony in a few weeks. Our quality of life is just so much better here, and I’m so glad we escaped before Brexit, as it makes me very cross!
I moved to the UK more than 10 years ago to study and have been here ever since. I will hopefully move back home one day, but for now I'm very happy here. I love the part of the country I live in because it's near to some beautiful countryside and I genuinely think that staying in the UK is the best option for my son at the moment.
Other than my family, it's the silly little things that I miss about home. Nothing significant, just things like food, mainly!
Almost everywhere has crazy political issues at the moment. Some of the things I hear from friends back home and from other parts of Europe don't sound positive either. I think it's easy to lose sight of the things that are going reasonably well here - and, Brexit aside, there is a lot that this country has right.
We left the UK for Australia 4 years ago. Absolutely no regrets. I've achieved much more professionally here and my minor worries about schools for DC were unfounded. My DC are very happy here too.
We'll not move back to the UK.
Snows me too....I cam with DH and thought before I came about whether I'd want to go back to the UK if our relationship failed...and the answer was no. I would stay here in Oz even if we split up....I'm happy here. I do miss my family and it is hard to go back and then leave again but before we left I realised that my ideal family life with lots of visits and socialising with my siblings etc had never and would never be reality.
I only saw them now and then. Could not rely on them for anything...so we did it. No regrets at all.
Moved to Japan 2 and a half years ago. Thought it was temporary but since met and married DH so no plans to move back.
In the city we’re in it’s so much cheaper to live than London, couldn’t imagine how we’d get by now.
Of course there are negatives, but overall happy and settled.
Moved to NZ over ten years ago. Got citizenship after Brexit was announced. I would never move back.
Better lifestyle and better outlook on life. Watching the UK news makes me so cross and depressed.
Moved to the USA in 2016 (DH is American). Love it. I wouldn’t say that I’d never move back to the UK but it would have to be something really good to take us away from here. I will be getting my citizenship here soon. It’s very unlikely we will leave here as we have a much better standard of living and we are very happy here. We have the in-laws in the same state and they have welcomed me with open arms.
Moved to Canada 3 years ago. DH earning double what he did in the UK, kids schools are amazing and if you can handle the winter, the summer makes up for it. We're in the process of applying for citizenship, but can hold dual Canadian/British so by the above poster's definition ("did you give up British citizenship?") I don't know if we count as emigrated. We have no plans to return and knew that once we made the jump it was one way. The exchange rate makes moving back prohibitive, but we wouldn't want to anyway.
Moved to Australia 10+ years ago, because DH got a fab job offer. We knew it was effectively one way because of our age. As a poster upthread has noted, with this in mind, you have a different view of the painful/irritating aspects of the new place, less inclined to endlessly compare, more inclined to get on with it.
DH died and I'm staying. Apart from enjoying the place (and DH would never have gone back to the UK, no dislike, just a real attachment to where he was), friends have moved on, family is as far away within the UK as ever it was. I couldn't afford to move back to London, the only place I could imagine being. While we didn't move for the weather, but I do love the warm here, the lovely countryside, the lively arts/cultural life.
The lack of public footpaths is a pisser, though.
We moved from the UK to Mexico for a two year secondment in 2014. After a year and a half my husband was offered a permanent position.
I can't imagine ever wanting to move back to the UK. Standard of living is better, salary is better, weather is better 🤷🏻♀️
I left the UK in 2004 as an expat (Middle East).
Left the Middle East for Canada in 2015 as an immigrant (and will never leave)
Would love to emigrate; sell everything up and just hotfoot it to the other side of the planet. Sadly my dad is the last of my family and has made it clear he wouldn't come. Dd and him get on very well and he is my main support as he comes to stay x1 weekend a month. Brexit has completely gutted any sense of security I had in UK. I used to be so proud of living here and now I actually fear for my daughter's future. It's changed my entire outlook . So very of all of you having escaped all of the stress and turmoil!
Left a decade ago and altho it brought everything we wanted at the time (dc nearer their grandparents, them to grow up properly bilingually, better quality of life) and I’ve made a great group of friends, my exH left me & now I’m bringing up the dc in a foreign country and feeling very alone. Definitely stuck here till the kids finish school but even after that with Brexit who knows whether I’d want to go back
Reading with interest. Combination of Brexit and possible Corbyn government making me think seriously about leaving but ds has ASD which might make it difficult to get permanent status elsewhere I suspect
I moved to Asia and it was the best decision I ever made! It's a very safe country - I'm not sure I'd go to Egypt as I'd be a bit more concerned about safety.
We moved to Asia for three years but came back to UK for various reasons. I’d love to leave again but I also appreciate everything we have here, e.g. healthcare, employment rights etc. It’s the things you don’t think of like ex pats being taxed on pensions/investments in UK etc that matter in the long term. Good luck OP. I know someone who lived in Egypt years ago and loved it.
We're planning on going in the next couple of years to Portugal, DH is from there and misses the country and life here has deteriorated to the point we hate where we live with a passion. We can't afford to move here to somewhere where there'll be enough improvement in things so only option is going really. We will likely be mortgage free and have more family there. DS loves it there and will have more opportunities.
I'll take citizenship and likely let my passport from here lapse, we won't be back and I don't think I'll miss it much. I have my own business and DH of course can work in either Portugal or Spain. I'm looking forward to the increased quality of life and opportunity to do something different. Of course we all speak the language and have ties to there which I suppose will help a lot. My ties to this country are now fewer and fewer and will consist only of my sister and elderly father. There's little sense in staying now.
There's a living overseas board (under homes and gardens for some inexplicable reason).
Obviously some people move for a year, some emigrate, and everything in between. Living abroad for a year or two is a totally different thing to emigration, but one sometimes becomes the other, it's not compulsory to burn your bridges immediately.
Live in and love living in NZ. We came for 2 yrs. Brexit happened weve been here 5 and just applied for our passports. Just about to have a 2nd child here.
It was always my plan to emigrate to Australia but unfortunately one of my kids was born with additional needs so we would never get a visa 🙁
Moved to Germany 12 years ago: we live it here, our quality of life is so much better. On the back of Brexit I’ve taken citizenship so we are secure now.
How are all these people moving to the US getting a visas? I was under the impression that it’s nigh on impossible unless you are or are married to an American, or move internally within a company.
Considered moving to Australia before I met dh and had children but I decided it was too far away from friends and family. I would never move ds away from his grandparents, cousins and school friends now.
Moved nearly 20 years ago, various places and then settled. Would never go back to the UK - best thing we ever did.
Go for it!
Moved to Finland 12 years ago. Didn't intend to move permanently but ended up doing so and have no regrets except for not finishing University (came here on my Erasmus year and never left)
Good luck learning Arabic @wanderingcloud I tried learning it a few years ago, gave up but I was fascinated by it
I am moving back home from the U.K. after living here for 18 years, marrying an English man and having two English children with him and becoming a citizen- have been one now for over a decade.
I honestly thought I would stay here for life, circumstances (definitely but not only Brexit) have meant that it is quite impossible.
Emigrating was challenging and I have a lot of mixed feelings about my experiences.
Hate the current attitudes in Britain at the moment. I've never wanted to move abroad (my parents did) and loved my country.
Now, yes seriously considering it. Brexit has brought out the worst in people. The conservative government have run down all of our services, I feel very frustrated and upset by our selfish society.
As an educational professional the final straw for me will be if Michael Gove is the next PM. I really couldn't stomach that.
As a public sector worker, due to central government cuts to Local Authorities my job is under threat, with the process of restructure starting next week. Sadly, already looking at jobs abroad.
Do you get more annual leave in Canada than in the US? I've never been to Canada but can imagine the lifestyle is wonderful. But not much good if you can't get the time off to enjoy it.
* I think it's easy to lose sight of the things that are going reasonably well here - and, Brexit aside, there is a lot that this country has right*
Brexit is a bit of a big one though. I do agree, absent Brexit, it would be fine here - and I like the climate - I don't like it when it's too hot anyway and hot = nasty bugs. Anyway we'll see what happens post October 2019. Despite Brexit it seems to be more stable here than in some European countries but that could all change extremely rapidly if we have a no deal exit.
Emigrating was challenging and I have a lot of mixed feelings about my experiences.
I left very young and have spent the last 22 years in the UK. I regret not keeping any ties to my country of origin. It does make the question of ever "going back" irrelevant. In fact it would feel like emigrating, which would be confusing I'm sure.
Yep a few decades ago and maybe thought there might be a slight possiblity of moving back but not now. When Brexit turned into a thing took nationality, and was lucky that the country changed their law for Brits to keep that nationality if they want (dual nationality here only allowed with other EU countries). We were fully prepared to give up our British nationality though.
One PP mentioned TEFL and another said "don't bother". Most language schools here want a qualification (CELTA is most popular) and if you don't have it they might still employ a native speaker but at reduced rates. And EFL teachers don't get paid much unless you can get a good corporate gig. (I have an EFL qualification and know lots of EFL teachers)
Another PP mentioned taking citizenship and then letting their British passport lapse. That is fine, but you're still British (there is a fee, which has been increased recently for giving up your British citizenship - if i ever get that far they can sue me for it...)
Good luck in Egypt, OP!
Considering moving to Canada as am a dual national.
I have been living in Norway for 23 years. I'm never going back to the UK. I´ve been away so long that it is a foreign country to me when I visit. Where I live is home now. It was very challenging at first. It took about 6 years to become completely fluent in the language, and it took about as long to make real friends. I understand why people give up after a few years and go home. There are definitely some tough periods to get through but to me going back was never a real option, so I stuck with it.
The biggest challenge now is elderly relatives. It is difficult when you are far away and also I have found it challenging trying to get them help in a system that I don´t know (I was only 23 when I emigrated, so have little experience of adult life in the UK). I have considered emigrating to Australia, but one of the main reasons why I haven't tried it is that I think it is too far from the UK. At least at the moment I can be back within half a day if there is an emergency.
Yay Norway @sonjadog ! We're in the same boat I emigrated at 22 and have been here 12 years now. Took me 7 years to become fluent so you have me beat there although I found it a lot easier to make friends.
Feel you on the elderly relatives pain though. It's nice to meet someone in the same position as me!
I have recently returned to the UK after 25 years in Australia mainly for family reasons and I am enjoying it , on thing I don't miss is the heat . I did love Sydney and we had a good life there but its so far away and I was so fed up of doing that flight to come back and see everyone.
We moved overseas 8 years ago. It was supposed to be temporary, but I don’t really like going back to the UK any more and I don’t really want to live there again. We will probably move on again at some point, but not sure where yet.
In most of western Europe you need qualifications to teach English as a foreign language - preferably a degree plus a specific teaching English as a foreign language qualification, ideally CTEFLA or a masters in some cases, and you'll still be expected to register as self employed and work on that basis. It's very possible to work full time that way if you're based in a city but you are self employed, with the insecurity and administrative hassle that can bring. The pay is not enough to support a family on one income doing that but enough to support a single person or contribute one of two family incomes.
Language schools employ very few teachers, usually only the director and administrative staff are employed. To teach in a school you need local teaching qualifications or a teaching qualification from your own country plus international baccalaureate experience. Some companies employ teachers to teach their employees but then want some experience of their line of business for professional sector relevant vocabulary or a specific business English teaching qualification.
It's easier to teach English with fewer qualificatio in some countries outside Europe but the days when being a native speaker was enough are long gone in most countries.
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